Friday, May 26, 2006

5/26 Recap

AAA - Richmond
Brian O'Connor had been pitching very well this year until tonight.  Through 5 innings, he had only given up 2 runs but he had also given up 10 hits.  The hits finally caught up to him in the 6th when Durham scored 6 times.  Overall, O'Conner gave up 7 runs on 13 hits in 5 innings.  Kelly Johnson led the offense with 3 hits, a double, and 2 RBI's.  He also stole a base.  Another interesting note involves Rocco Baldelli who was making his 3rd rehab appearance for Durham.  He only had 1 at-bat before being taken out of the game.  This is only speculation, but he could have reinjured himself.  That would be a shame because injuries have already taken such a toll on his young career.

Durham 9, Richmond 3

AA - Mississippi

Paul Bush made another good start going 6 innings, giving up 5 hits and 2 runs.  Ryan Basner gave up only 1 hit in the 7th and the 8th, and Zach Scheiber continued his strong pitching since his call-up from Myrtle Beach with 2 strikeouts in a scoreless 9th.  Mike Rosamond led the offense with a grand slam in the 5th inning.  Matt Esquivel had 2 hits and an RBI and Barbaro Canizares also drove in a run.  Gregor Blanco reached base 5 times with 2 hits and 3 walks while stealing his 15th base.

Mississippi 8, Birmingham 2

Low A - Rome
Beau Jones pitched well for 5 innings with no run support and then gave way to the bullpen who let it get out of hand.  Jones only allowed 1 run on 4 hits and 4 walks in 5 innings.  The bullpen gave up 6 runs in the final 4 innings.  The Braves made a comback with 4 unearned runs in the bottom of the 9th but it was too little, too late.  Jordan Schafer stayed hot going 1-3 with an RBI.

Savannah 7, Rome 5

Going on Vacation

I am leaving for vacation tonight so I can't guarantee anything about the regularity of my posting.  I will have internet access so I intend to continue posting but I can't promise anything.

Minor Roster Moves

J.C. Holt will be activated from the disabled list by the Myrtle Beach Pelicans. In order to make room for him, Jose Ascanio (left) will be promoted to Mississippi. Ascanio has had a somewhat disappointing year considering he was an outside shot to make the major league bullpen in the spring. He is 1-1 with a 4.94 ERA in 6 starts. In 31 innings, he has walked 20 and struck out 23.

5/25 Recap

AAA - Richmond
Richmond erased a 5-0 early and won in 11 innings.. Anthony Lerew just got blasted in his 3 innings. He gave up 11 hits and 7 runs along with 2 walks and 2 strikeouts. His ERA ballooned to 9.26. Peter Moylan righted the ship with 3 shutout innings. Manny Acosta got the win with 3 shutout innings as well. He has not given up a run since being promoted to Richmond. Scott Thorman hit 2 doubles and Billy McCarthy hit 2 home runs. McCarthy has quickly raised his average to .267. Wayne Franklin saved it for his 2nd save of the year.

Richmond 8, Durham 7

AA - Mississippi
Tyler Lumsden pitched a shutout against the Braves as Birmingham won 8-0. Christ Waters didn't pitch too badly, giving up 4 runs in 6 innings. He walked 2 and only struck out 1 batter. Yunel Escobar played third base and committed his 13th error of the season, which is an extremely high total.

Birmingham 8, Mississippi 0

Low A - Rome
Rome continued its winning ways with an 8-3 victory of Savvanah. Elvis Andrus went 3-5 with a run scored. Kala Kaaihue went 2-4 with a run driven in. Max Ramirez and Eric Campbell each got a hit. Jamie Romak hit the only homer of the game for Rome and drove in 3 runs. Chris Vines gave up 2 runs in 6 innings and Devin Anderson struck out 5 in the final 3 innings to pick up the save.

Rome 8, Savvanah 3

  • has a writeup about Tommy Hanson who just signed with the Braves as a draft and follow. He is a big guy who stikes a lot of people out. He will be assigned to Danville who opens on June 9th.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

5/24 Recap

AAA - Richmond
Chuck James made another rehab start and went 3 innings this time. He is slowly building up his endurance. He did give up a 2-run homer but that was it. He also struck out 3 in 3 innings. Kevin Barry finished out the game by giving up 3 runs (1 earned) in the final 5 innings. He also struck out 7. The offense struggled as Jamal Strong drove in a run and Scott Thorman had a sacrifice fly. Bill McCarthy went 3-4. Kelly Johnson did have 2 more hits to raise his average to .389.

Durham 5, Richmond 2

AA - Mississippi
Mississippi had a 4-3 lead in the 7th when Bryan Digby allowed the tying run to score. Glen Tucker then took the loss by giving up a run in the 8th. Sean White had a decent start giving up 2 earned runs in 5 innings with 5 strikeouts. Barbaro Canizares scored twice and Yunel Escobar drove in 2 runs. Salty showed some signs of life by going 2-3, raising his average to .210.

Birmingham 5, Mississippi 4

High A - Myrtle Beach
This was a pretty wild game. The Pelicans took a 3-0 lead into the 8th inning thanks to a fantastic start by Luis Atilano. Jose Asciano proceeded to allow 3 runs which tied the game. Moises Hernandez then made his debut in Myrtle Beach and gives up 3 runs also in the top of the 9th. Down 6-3 in the bottom of the 9th, Van Pope hit a 2 out 3-run bomb to tie the game for the Pelicans. Winston Salem then won the game in the 10th on a RBI groundout.

Wintson Salem 7, Myrtle Beach 6

Low A - Rome
Rome just keeps rolling along. Jeff Lyman pitched great for 5.2 innings. Nelson Payano struck out 6 in 2.1 shutout innings of relief. Kala Kaaihue, Max Ramirez, and Jordan Schafer all homered. Schafer in particular has been pretty hot as of late. He started very slowing but his average is rising. His average sits at .208 after going 2-4 yesterday.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

2006 Draft Preview

There is very little information about the draft out there right now, but I have come up with a few links that could be helpful. The Braves have 6 picks in the top 100 and 5 in the top 78. The full draft order can be found here.

This is a mock draft of the first round. It has Atlanta taking outfielder Devin Shepherd from high school in Oxnard, CA.

Minor League Ball is having a live mock draft on June 4th. Some of the readers of John Sickel's blog have been selected as scouting directors for each major league team.

Here are some notable 2005 draftees.

Joey Devine- I know he is not performing well right now but he has been hurt and he should be the closer in Atlanta after some minor league seasoning.

Beau Jones- Beau is 1-0 with a 3.68 ERA in 7 starts at Rome.
Yunel Escobar- Yunel is hitting .278 with a .371 OBP for AA- Mississippi.

Jeff Lyman- Jeff is 2-0 with a 2.29 ERA in 5 starts with Rome.

Will Startup- Will is 3-0 with 4 saves and a 0.75 ERA in Mississippi after pitching 1 game in Myrtle Beach.
Tyler Bullock- Tyler is 4-2 with a 4.54 ERA in 9 appearances with Rome.

Quentin Davis- Quentin is hitting .298 with 11 SB's for Rome.

Moises Hernandez promoted

One of the intriguing young arms in Atlanta's system has been promoted to Myrtle Beach. Moises Hernandez had been pitching very well in Rome. Here is his line.

2-0 ; 32.2 IP ; 21 H ; 1.93 ERA ; 13 BB ; 34 K's ; 2 SV's

His success in Low A was somewhat predictable as he was a little bit older than the competition at 22 years old. However, he has really good stuff and could be a dependable reliever at the major league level.

Braves in Running to Sign Catcher

The Braves are battling the Mets and Yankees to sign the 16 year old son of former major leaguer Tony Pena and brother of current Richmond Brave Tony Pena, Jr. Francisco Pena cannot be signed until he turns 16. With a weak draft class this year, many teams are turning to free agents such as Pena. The Braves have plenty of catchers right now, but at 16 Francisco Pena will take years to develop. I don't know what our chances are to sign him with the deep pockets of the Mets and Yankees involved, but he has made a trip to Atlanta to work out.

The 2006 MLB draft is scheduled to take place on June 6th and 7th. I will have some pre-draft analysis soon, but the MLB draft is completely unpredictable compared to the NBA and NFL drafts. I think it is safe to say that the Braves will employ their usual strategy of drafting high school pitchers and top prep talent from the Atlanta area.

5/22 Recap

High A - Myrtle Beach
The Pelicans pounded out 11 runs on 17 hits as they crushed Winston-Salem 11-2. This was an unusual outburst of offense for a team that has had trouble scoring all year. Matt Young, Brandon Jones, and Mark Jurich each had 2 RBI's for Myrtle Beach. Matt Harrison only needed 1 run as he shut Winston-Salem out for 7 innings with just 1 walk and 5 strikeouts. Harrison improved to 5-0 with a 2.54 ERA. He is really climbing the ranks of pitching prospects.

Myrtle Beach 11, Winston-Salem 2

Low A - Rome
Rome came back from a 2-0 deficit with runs in the 6th and 7th only to see Charleston win in the bottom of the 10th. A two-run first inning homer was all Charleston could muster against Jairo Cuevas. Cuevas has been disappointing this year but showed why people like him. He struck out 10 batters in 6 innings while giving up only 6 baserunners. Rome's runs came from solo shots from Jordan Schafer and Jose Camerena.

Charleston 3, Rome 2

Monday, May 22, 2006

Standings 5/22

AAA - International League

Club W L PCT GB Home Away L 10 Streak







Club W L PCT GB Home Away L 10 Streak





Club W L PCT GB Home Away L 10 Streak





AA - Southern League

Club W L PCT GB Home Away L 10 Streak


West Tenn2619.5783.010-1016-95-5L1




Club W L PCT GB Home Away L 10 Streak






High A - Carolina League

Club W L PCT GB Home Away L 10 Streak





Club W L PCT GB Home Away L 10 Streak



Myrtle Beach1923.45211.015-64-172-8L5


Low A - South Atlantic League

Club W L PCT GB Home Away L 10 Streak




West Virginia2219.5372.512-1010-97-3L1


Lake County2122.4884.511-1010-124-6L3



Club W L PCT GB Home Away L 10 Streak









5/21 Recap

AAA - Richmond
Kelly Johnson homered as he continues to hit well during his rehab. Carlos Mendez and Tony Pena, Jr. each had two hits but it wasn't enough as the Braves fell to Norfolk 5-2. Rich Rodriguez gave up 4 runs in 6 innings but only struck out 2 batters. Mendez is quietly having a good season and is now batting .288. Thorman also had a hit to raise his average to .315.

Norfolk 5, Richmond 2
AA - Mississippi
Matt Wright pitched another good game but Ryan Basner blew it in the 7th. Wright gave up 2 runs on 5 hits in 6 innings. Matt Esquivel had 3 hits including a solo homer. Barbaro Canizares had a couple of hits to raise his average to .333.

Jacksonville 5, Mississippi 3

High A - Myrtle Beach
Did not play on Sunday

Low A - Rome
Eric Campbell, Max Ramirez, and Derrick Arnold all homered in the 3rd inning but it wasn't enough as Rome lost 7-5. Beau Jones started and only allowed 3 hits in 5 innings but had some control problems, walking 4 batters. Jordan Schafer went 2-2 and sole his 5th base of the year. Ovandy Suero stole is 24th bag but was also caught for the 9th time.

Charleston 7, Rome 5

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Brayan Pena Gets The Call

This was an obvious move with the injury to Brian McCann. Thank goodness it will probably be a short stay though. McCann is currently listed as day-to-day and is hoping to avoid the DL. Pena's strength has always been his ability to hit for average. However, he has been struggling in Richmond this year batting just .226. He will probably split time with Todd Pratt for a few days until McCann is healthy. Peter Moylan was sent down to make room for Pena. Moylan was expendable with the addition of Lance Cormier from the DL.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

5/20 Recap

AAA - Richmond
Brian O'Connor pitched 6 shutout innings as Richmond won 2-1. Manny Acosta got his first save for Richmond since being called up from Mississippi. Kelly Johnson started in left field and went 2-4 with a double. He is slowly moving his way back to the big leagues. Of course with Diaz hitting right now and Langerhans with his normal tremendous defense, Johnson's role on the team is fuzzier than ever. Brayan Pena had 2 hits and will probably be called up for a little while until McCann is healthy again.

Richmond 2, Norfolk 1

AA - Mississippi
Barbaro Canizares continued his strong hitting by going 3-3 and getting the hit that lead to the go ahead run in the 8th. Yunel Escobar had 3 hits and drove in a run. Paul Bush started and gave up 3 runs in 6 innings. Will Startup collected his 4th save of the season.

Mississippi 4, Jacksonville 3

High A - Myrtle Beach
Clint Sammons had 2 hits and drove in Brandon Jones for the Pelicans' only run. Starter Kevin Villa gave up 1 earned run but 5 unearned runs in 4.1 innings. Arthur Santos pitched 2.2 scoreless innings in relief.

Wilmington 6, Myrtle Beach 1

Low A - Rome
Rome lost a marathon game 7-6 in 18 innings. Eric Campbell just didn't have it today. He went 0-8 and made 2 errors. Max Ramirez hit a homer and Kala Kaaihue went 0-4 with 4 walks. Devin Anderson and Moises Hernandez combined for 7 scoreless innings. Nelson Payano took the loss. The game took 5 hours and 24 minutes.

Charleston 7, Rome 6 (18)

5/19 Recap

AAA - Richmond
Chuck James made a rehab appearance and pitched 2 innings for Richmond. He gave up 1 hit and 1 run in his two innings. Anthony Lerew gave up a lead in the eight when Carlos Pena hit a 3-run homer. Phil Stockman faced the final 6 batters and struck 5 of them out. Scott Thorman stayed red hot with 3 hits. He is hitting .316 now and should be getting a look by Atlanta but Adam LaRoche is hitting just enough to stay in his platoon with Brian Jordan.

Columbus 7, Richmond 6

AA - Mississippi
Barbaro Canizares hit 2 homers and drove in 3 runs to lead Mississippi to a 4-3 win. Yunel Escobar also went deep for the Braves. Zach Schreiber pitched the final 3 innings for the win. Escobar's homer in the top of the 11th was the game-winner. Christ Waters pitched well but did not figure in the decision.

Mississippi 4, Jacksonville 3

High A - Myrtle Beach
Four pitchers combined to 5-hit the Pelicans 2-0 on Friday. Myrtle Beach wasted a good start by James Parr who went 6 innings, gave up 2 runs and struck out 7. Obviously there was really nothing to speak of offensively.

Wilmington 2, Myrtle Beach 0

Low A - Rome
The big boppers were at it again as Rome won 12-2. Eric Campbell, Max Ramirez, and Kala Kaaihue went a combined 8-12 with a homer and 5 RBI's. They also scored 8 times. Kaaihue hit his 11th homer and is hitting .341. He is really turning into a nice first base prospect. Something Atlanta has lacked in years past. Jeff Lyman pitched 5.2 scoreless innings to improve to 3-0 with a 2.29 ERA.

Rome 12, Charleston 2

Friday, May 19, 2006

Cormier Activated; Lerew Sent Back Down

That was a short stay. I wonder if he even bothered to pack any bags. The Braves are still going to need a spot start in a few days. It looks like Travis Smith is the leading candidate. Lerew could be called up for the start but his confindence must already be shaken with the shelling he has been taking in Richmond. He might not recover from a shelling in his first major league start.

5/18 Recap

AAA - Richmond
He's Back. Horacio Ramirez worked 5 innings as Richmond shutout Colombus. Horacio was impressive with 6 K's and 0 BB's in his 5 innings pitched. I am assuming Bobby Cox will give Davies' spot to Ramirez and with Sosa pitching well yesterday, Chuck James might have to wait a little longer for a chance. Back to the game, Scott Thorman "was" the offense. He hit a grand slam and a two-run homer to drive in 6 of the 7 runs Richmond scored. It was his 6th and 7th homers of the season.

AA - Mississippi
Mississippi got tattooed 13-2 yesterday and could only muster 2 hits the entire game. Sean White (2-3) took the loss. The only bright spot was Will Startup pitching a scoreless inning to lower his ERA to 0.78.

High A - Myrtle Beach
The Pelicans lost 10-3 as Luis Atilano got beat up pretty bad. He have up 9 runs on 10 hits in 3.2 innings. Mike Rozema and Steven Doetsch each had 2 hits for Myrtle Beach.

Low A - Rome
Jo-Jo Reyes turned in another great start and Rome's offensive stars continued to hit. Reyes (5-0) held Columbus to 3 hits in 6.2 innings. Kala Kaaihue had 3 hits and hit his 10th homer. Eric Campbell hit his 8th homer and Kelly Johnson also homered for the Braves as the won 6-0.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

5/17 Recap

AAA - Richmond
Kevin Barry pitched yet another gem. He tossed 7 shutout innings on 2 hits while striking out 6 and only walking 1. With all of the rotation problems Atlanta is having right now, they have to be taking notice of Barry's performance recently. He currently has a streak of 24.1 scoreless innings in a row. Overall he is 2-2 with a 2.33 ERA and 45 K's in 46.1 innings. Richmond ended up winning the game yesterday 2-1 in 12 innings. Cesar Crespo drove in Jamal Strong to end the game in the bottom of the 12th. Richmond forced extra innings with a sac fly by Schuerholz in the 9th. Wayne Franklin threw 3 shutout innings for the win.

AA - Mississippi
Martin Prado was a single short of a cycle as Mississippi lost 10-3. Barbaro Canizares hit his first homer of the season for Mississippi. Salty went 0-2 and was ejected for arguing balls and strikes in the 4th inning.

High A - Myrtle Beach
Jake Stevens actually turned in a nice start, but the normally reliable Arthur Santos could not hold the lead in the 8th. Stevens gave up 2 runs on 6 hits in 6 innings while striking out only 1. Clint Sammons and Greg Creek hit solo homers for the Pelicans.

Low A - Rome
Chuck James pitched a perfect 1st inning and Lance Cormier pitched a perfect 2nd inning. Jairo Cuevas did the rest as Rome defeated Columbus 6-1. Kelly Johnson doubled once and drove in a run. Eric Campbell had 3 hits and an RBI. Ovandy Suero drove in a run and stole his 22nd base.

Lerew Called Up

Anthony Lerew is the latest addition to the Braves bullpen. Although it will most likely be a very short stay with Lance Cormier and Chuck James on the way back from the DL very soon. He definitely did not earn his promotion as he has had a horrible season so far for Richmond. Opponents are hitting a robust .300 against Lerew who has a 1.74 WHIP in 37.1 innings. Those are not the stats that an organization wants to see from it's top pitching prospect.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006


  • Manny Acosta was promoted from AA-Mississippi to Richmond. He pitched for the first time tonight by throwing a scoreless inning while striking out 2. He was very successful in relief for Mississippi and will get a chance to show his skills at a higher level now.
  • Brad Baker was sent to the Boston Red Sox as the player-to-be-named-later in the offseason deal that brought Franklin Nunez to Atlanta. Nunez is currently in Richmond's bullpen.
  • With Horacio Ramirez and Chuck James hurt along with Jorge Sosa's struggles, Travis Smith could get a spot start in Atlanta soon. It is too bad James is hurt right now because it is only a matter of time until he gets a look at the rotation.
  • Kevin Barry is making a smooth conversion to a starter in Richmond. He threw six shutout innings in his last start and has an ERA under 3. He is 28 but could be a late bloomer.
  • Matt Harrison threw a 7 inning complete game shutout today for Myrtle Beach.
  • Kelly Johnson has been playing left field for Rome the last couple of days. I honestly don't know what the outlook on him is for this year. It sounds like rehab if he is playing for Low A Rome. I didn't even know if he was going to play this year after arm surgery.
  • Chuck James and Lance Cormier are also scheduled to make some rehab appearances for Rome pretty soon.

Friday, May 12, 2006


Rome actually played a double-header yesterday because of the rainout on Wednesday. Beau Jones returned from a short stint on the DL to start the game. He gave up 2 hits, 1 run, and struck out 5 in 4 innings of work. Rome won the game 3-1 as Tyler Bulluck tossed shutout ball for the final 3 innings.

Horacio Ramirez will make a rehab start for Richmond on Saturday. Hopefully he will get pounded and the Braves will figure out that he can't even get minor leaguers out, much less big leagers.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

5/11 Recap

AAA - Richmond
Ricardo Rodriguez gave up two unearned runs in six innings as Richmond lost to Columbus 3-2 in 12 innings. Tony Pena Jr. had 4 hits to raise his average to .353. He has been on a tear since returning to Richmond from Atlanta.

AA - Mississippi
Mississippi lost 7-1. Paul Bush gave up a couple of runs but other than that, nothing eventful happened.

High A - Myrtle Beach
Jake Stevens got pounded. What's new? The Pelicans lost 10-2 and made 4 errors in the field. Their 2 runs were unearned.

Low A - Rome
Rome was shutout 7-0 on one hit. Ovandy Suero got the lone hit and stole his 20th base.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Chuck James vs. Cole Hamels

The big breaking news today is that Cole Hamels is being called up to make his major league debut Friday against the Reds. I'd like to take this opportunity to look at the similarities between Chuck James and Cole Hamels and plead for Bobby Cox to give Chuck a chance to start.

Here are Chuck James' career minor league stats:
Innings: 343.2
K/9: 10.92
h/9: 5.79
hr/9: 0.42
w/9: 2.70

Cole Hamels: These stats do not include Cole's 2006 stats.
Innings: 152
k/9: 12.32
h/9: 5.21
hr/9: 0.12
w/9: 3.67

Both of these pitchers are lefties who top out in the low 90's. Each one of them utilizes the changeup as their best pitch. Cole strikes out a few more people and also walks a few more. Keep in mind that Chuck has maintained his performance over twice as many innings and against tougher talent because Hamels had not faced AAA as of last year. But Hamels is also 2 years younger than Chuck which gives him a little more of an upside.

With all the publicity surrounding Cole Hamels and how he will save the Phillie's rotation, I would like to see Chuck James provide a lefty presence in the rotation seeing as his track record is very similar to super-prospect Cole Hamels.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

5/9 Recap

AAA - Richmond
Travis Smith dominates yet again giving up 1 run in 8 innings of work. Richmond pounded Columbus with 16 hits en route to an 8-1 victory. Everyone had a hit except Michael Ryan and Jonathan Schuerholz. Scott Thorman and Tony Pena lead the way with 3 hits apeace.

AA - Mississippi
Dan Smith blew a 3-2 lead in the 8th by giving up 4 runs without recording an out. He has really struggled since being called up from Myrtle Beach. On the bright side, Chris Waters had another quality start and Salty went 2-4.

High A - Myrtle Beach
The Pelicans used some late inning heroics to come away with an 8-7 victory. Brandon Jones homered to lead off the bottom of the 9th and Steve Doetch singled home Van Pope to tie it up later in the inning. Arthur Santos (4-0, 0.47) pitched a scoreless 11th to pick up the win.

Low A - Rome
Rome brought out the sticks today as well as they beat Greenville 8-5. Eric Campbell and Max Ramirez lead the way with one home run apiece. Everyone in the lineup had at least 1 hit and Elvis Andrus stole his 10th base of the season. Chris Vines (3-1) picked up the victory.

April's Top Performers: Richmond

Wes Timmons, 3B, Richmond
Timmons leads the Richmond Braves with a .319 average. He is a tremendous contact hitter as he has walked 16 times while striking out just 8 times in 91 at-bats.

Scott Thorman, 1B, Richmond
James Jurries was the one who played well in spring training and almost won a platoon at first base in Atlanta with Laroche. But it has been Scott Thorman who has been impressive so far in Richmond. He is hitting .297 and showing good power with 4 home runs and 15 RBI. He has also shown good plate discipline with 14 walks and 16 strikeouts.

Travis Smith, SP, Richmond
Yes, that Travis Smith has been incredible so far for Richmond. After being released by the Braves and toiling in the Marlins system last year, Smith has resurrected himself in Richmond with a 1.97 ERA in 6 starts while striking out 33 batters in 32 innings.

Chad Paronto, RP, Richmond
It is fitting that I am posting this just after Paronto was called up to Atlanta. His performance in Richmond warranted it. Chad converted 4 saves in 12 games with a 1.02 ERA.

Phil Stockman, RP, Richmond
Stockman did not give up a run in Mississippi before he was called up to Richmond where he excelled as well. Phil compiled a 1.98 ERA in 13.2 innings while in Richmond. Because of his strong performance, he could be one of the next relievers to be called up should Atlanta need one more.

Roster moves

Myrtle Beach has undergone a handful of roster moves. Zach Schreiber has been called up to AA-Mississippi after his fast start. Jose Asciano has tendonitis in his right elbow, J.C. Holt suffered a separated shoulder, and Diory Hernandez has a broken bone in his left hand. Carl Loadenthal, Jaime Trejo, and Willie James were demoted from Mississippi to fill out the roster.

Monday, May 08, 2006

April's Top Performers: Mississippi

Martin Prado, 2B, Mississippi

Martin Prado has been impressive enough this year to warrant a call to Atlanta once a rash of middle infield injuries occurred. Martin is currently leading Mississippi with a .304 average with no homers and 2 steals. Prado doesn’t have a lot of power but hits for a good average and plays most infield positions.

Yunel Escobar, SS, Mississippi

The Cuban defector is enjoying a successful first full season. He is hitting .287 and has come up with many clutch hits this year for Mississippi. He will likely get the first call to Atlanta once Edgar’s time is over.

Paul Bush, RP, Mississippi

Paul Bush has excelled as a long reliever for Mississippi this year. In 10 appearances, Bush has pitched 18.2 innings with a 2.41 ERA and 1.18 WHIP. Bush has 2 victories and 2 losses to go with his 20 strikeouts.

Will Startup, RP, Mississippi

Startup, drafted just last year, has been terrific thus far. In 17 relief innings, Startup has yielded a 1.06 ERA and 0.65 WHIP. He also has a fantastic K/BB ratio at 21/3. Will Startup has a very bright future.

Chris Waters, SP, Mississippi

Chris has been somewhat of a surprise so far this season. He has 2 victories in 5 starts while fashioning a 3.18 ERA in the process. He has also struck out 27 in his 28.1 innings.

Paronto called up

Chad Paronto is now the most recent addition to Atlanta's battered bullpen. To make room for him, Horacio Ramirez was placed on the 15 day DL again. That is fine with me because Atlanta has too many lefties and Horacio wasn't effective anyways. Paronto was having a very fine year in Richmond and will hopefully provide some much needed help to the Braves bullpen.

In other news, Joey Devine has been assigned to Danville. After hurting himself in his first appearance in Richmond, Joey will start a much more gradual ascent through the system now. The rapid promotion obviously was too much on Joey and he lost a lot of his confidence. Danville's season doesn't start until after the MLB draft in June.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

April's Top Performers: Myrtle Beach

The strength of the Myrtle Beach team so far has been the relief pitching. The hitting has been poor but that is to be somewhat expected in a pitcher’s park like Myrtle Beach. The starters have been ok with the exception of Matt Harrison who has been terrific. The relief pitching has really lead this team to a lot of victories.

Brandon Jones, OF, Myrtle Beach:

Brandon Jones came in as the top prospect on this team and showed why. After missing a few games early in the year, Jones currently has a .284 average with 13 runs driven in. He has also swiped 4 bags in 5 chances. The power is not there yet but Myrtle Beach is a pitcher’s dream so power will be down for everyone.

Matt Young, OF, Myrtle Beach:

Another starting outfielder for Myrtle Beach, Matt Young, is also having a good season so far. He is hitting .283 and has an OBP of .421. Young has looked very comfortable at the plate with 16 walks and only 13 strikeouts. He has also stolen 6 bases and been caught only twice.

Matt Harrison, SP, Myrtle Beach:

Matt is 3-2 with a sterling 2.39 ERA in six starts this season. His WHIP is also terrific at 1.06 and he has only walked 6 batters compared to his 26 strikeouts. Harrison has made a steady climb so far through the Brave’s system and it looks like he will continue to do so.

Arthur Santos, RP, Myrtle Beach:

Arthur Santos pitched pretty will for Rome last year but has been lights out so far in Myrtle Beach. Santos has allowed 1 run in 16 innings for a 0.56 ERA and 0.94 WHIP. His K/BB ratio is 10/2.

Zach Schreiber, RP, Myrtle Beach:

Zach has been almost as dominant as Santos with a 1.10 ERA and 1.29 WHIP in 16.1 innings. Zach has even had the opportunity to save 3 games. His 18 strikeouts in 16.1 innings have also been impressive.

Dan Smith, RP, Myrtle Beach:

Another great reliever for Myrtle Beach, Dan Smith has 5 saves and a 1.13 ERA in 8 innings pitched. Of course he has also been called up to Mississippi already thanks to his fast start.

Friday, May 05, 2006

April's Top Performers: Rome

April is over so I am going to look at some of the standouts so far. It is early but these are the guys that are playing really well right now for Rome. I will have the other teams posted soon.

Quentin Davis, OF, Rome:

Everyone knew that Quentin Davis was a threat to steal a bag, he has 8 in 11 attempts, but the reason he is on this list is because he is also batting .356 so far this season. Although he still needs to work on some plate discipline as he has struck out 18 times while only walking once.

Max Ramirez, C, Rome:

This guy can hit. That’s all there is to it. During the month of April, Max batted .333, drove in 13 runs, and had an OPS of .967. He only has 2 home runs but he is still slugging .533 thanks to a team-leading 9 doubles. He has also shown great plate discipline by walking 13 times and striking out 17 times. I have no doubt that he will continue on this pace and have an outstanding year.

Kala Kaaihue, 1B, Rome:

Here is another guy who is having an outstanding season. Kala has shown his power by hitting 6 homers, batting .310, and slugging .607. He has also improved his plate discipline from last year by drawing 21 walks compared to his 26 strikeouts. Kala has surprised me this year and I look forward to seeing if he can keep it up.

Beau Jones, SP, Rome:

On to the pitchers now. Beau Jones was selected in the first round last year and is pitching very well in his first full season as a pro. He has started 4 games but is obviously on a strict pitch count as he has thrown only 17.2 innings. His ERA is very good at 2.55. However, his WHIP is alarmingly high at 1.92. I will definitely keep my eye on him this year.

Jeff Lyman, P, Rome:

Jeff Lyman was also drafted last year but in the second round. Jeff has pitched a similar amount of innings as Beau, 19. But Jeff has a much better K/BB ratio at 19/7. Jeff’s ERA is 3.32.

Moises Hernandez:

This is the guy we got for Leo Mazzone. I knew he had a live arm but his results this year have been great thus far. He has a 2.91 ERA with a 20/7 K/BB ratio in 21.2 innings pitched. His WHIP is also very good at 1.06. He has started one game but his future is most likely as a relief pitcher with his hard stuff.
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